On Friday, Vincent Maher asked the question: where are all the South African social-media millionaires?
It’s a good question. And in the spirit of not hijacking his blog, here’s an opinion.
Social media is essentially a communication system. And there are plenty of them: Twitter, Facebook, AgencyScoop, Ning, all these blogs… And because social media is a (mostly) digital platform, that means that in South Africa (where easily-accesible digital infrastructure is sorely lacking) there probably won’t be any social media millionaires for a while yet…at least not until we can develop at the same rate as our overseas counterparts.
Overseas social media platforms give us access to international markets and resources that we don’t have here. South Africa offers little in terms of the latest social media innovations (notable exceptions do exist) and even though we do know how to make incredibly effective use of what’s on offer, it’s not enough to break the wall.
While we’re at it, what is a social-media millionaire? One who makes her fortune developing social-media channels or one who makes her fortune using social-media to market her innovation – regardless of the industry?
I would think either to be true, but I also believe that in this country it will be easier for people in the latter group, especially since the penetration of social media is not as great in per capita terms as it is overseas.
These days though, very few people are ready to risk capital on a new “untried” venture. And that may be the biggest thing counting in the social media developer’s favour: the players are few and the niches are still waiting to be exploited. Make your social media idea/innovation/strategy as accessible and cost-effective as possible- and you’ve got a winner.
(Check out this post by Vinny Lingham (Synthasite) for a really cool answer to Maher’s question.)